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Alex's v8 re-build thread warning pic whore inside >:)


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So as you may have already seen I purchased my first lotus esprit v8 a car i have wanted forever.

Unfortunatly the previous owner had let the car slip a little doing jobs at a very thin budget if at all.

The vehicle was purchased in good faith as being a sound well maintained car. I guess this is the finger waving buyers beware bit.

Yes it wasnt really now owning car now for three months the problems and faults are becoming more apparent. So me being a little ocd i have decided to restore the car to how it should be.

this is how i bought him .

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and then after a week of cleaning servicing and mot time it was to this

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so far i have replaced the door trim in vinyl as i didnt want to remove the wood but give it a more up to date look

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and also the dash trim

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after sorting a dodgy reo stat relay the illumination started to work properly and i took him for a few days out and even abroad for a holiday in france.

I have had any breakdowns but after various issiues i felt it was time to address a few areas before the aa was needed .

So i have rented some work space from a buddy and set about a mamouth task or restoring the little fella to his proper self.

firstly

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at a low height remove the tailgate and spoiler so i have access to the engine bay and remove the lower boot floor.

Then lift him onto axel stands at a height for roller sliding underneath on a tech board

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Birthday arrived so the misses got me a prezzy

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and then proceeded to revove the front lower spoiler bumper and plastics

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Amazing really the full service history for this chap and some moron manages to hold the lower chin spoiler on with bathroom wall plugs yes you did read that right !!!

Then i set about sorting his ride out . The car felt a little bit boaty and loose in bends after some pics and discussions here previously the AVO suspension wasnt really what lotus had in mind and to be honest it did this mark no justice in my opinion.

so stripping the nearside .

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all slightly over due tired and warn.

sent the first lot off to the boys for some shot blasting and powder coating .

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a mass order into some traders and the bushes began to arrive all lotus polys

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Whilst i was at it lets see how vague the steering is hmmm

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oh yes brilliant

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better .

now today i have started the offside .

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after removing the brown rusty rubber gromits i have the second lot ready for the powder coaters

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and replaced the track rod ends .

first hub back from the shot blasters ready to go black

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i have also started work on the other end too removed the exhausts and cats and realised the ticking from the right bank is a faulty actuator on the turbo no vacum ment a rattling gate.

the left turbo has taken to sparying oil everywhere so in attempt to fix them i decided the guys at owens shall find a fresh aftermarket replacement .

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then the engine .

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the plenum is now off and 99 % of pipework is undone again the previous owner has spared no expense in replacing the hoses for the cheapest possible and finger tight jubilee clips.

Although the belts look new im removing the engine to redo these and pretty much all hoses to be replaced with proper samcos and pipe fixings braided with goodrich connectors .

also gear box leaks and seals to be done aswell as topping up everytime i drive it as the previous owner said well no ill replace the sprinkler system and then i wont need to sounds way better to me . :no

so this is it so far keep em peeled for more updates as the parts arrive .

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

You are in good company re the bathroom wall plug. I have had 3 rawl plugs and a frame fixer out of mine and yesterday found an expantion bolt for plasterboard cavaty walls holding the rear bumper on along side the correct fixings.

Edited by mdw
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  • 2 weeks later...

so a little update from me been a busy time at work so finally got to spend a day in the man cave fettling with spanners and car sauce (anti-sieze spray )

Placed a largeorder with sj sports cars and some other bushes from the lotus shop and eventually it all turned up still waiting on some bit from sj and the offside front assembly and rears bars back from powder coaters but was still able to get a little done .

a load of stuff

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built the front shocks still waiting for lotus to get the rears.

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now rememeber this convo lol

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finally got time to attack the rear arms and hubs .

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can strongly recomend to anyone rather than laying on the floor just take the entire arm /hub off the car and do it in a bench so so much easier. also 60 p plasma disc for a grinder from machine mart goes through the old bolts like a butter knife little heat and the siezed bolt came out very easy replaced with a nice new one and bp greased up not copper slip as the copper and steel and alloy create a bond and thats why they sieze !

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also removed the top rear arms

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a little time in the wire brush bench grinder and there ready for some powder coat

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all ready to go

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got the brakes appart for a clean and grease .

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replacing all the lines for braided too the rears are done but need to send the fronts to my guys .

got some more seals too for the gear box shafts

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i have already replaced these but they still leak so know i have two more and the rubber orings for the shaft which maybe the leak ? time will tell

hub all ready for the arms

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braided rear line

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then a bit inside the back took off the rear covers to inspect the lines and clean the carpets

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and what do i find hmm thats not going to help.

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undid the rediculous gear changer thingy surly there must be an easier way like sequencial.??????

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removed some more engine bits

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front ends now off ready for the painters to address the stone chips .

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then started to refit the new poly bushes .

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stripped the tired coilovers for the top caps and dressed the new suspension

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after alot of jiggery pokery its in looks mint

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more to come once the powder coaters have rang .

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right a little more from me been a busy week end santa claus came early had a call from the powder coaters the rest on the arms and ends were finished so i poped down and picked this lot up .

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managed to get a short day at work so had an afternoon bushing all of the newly coated bits .

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then my attention was turned to the drivers side front shock and spring

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after bushes i added the other lower arm easier to do on the bench ... i did the passenger side on the car and all the jiggling twisting and pulling was definatly easier not on the car .

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then i started fitting the new brake lines nearside and off side .

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then to the ARB test fitted but to much of a struggle with the powder coat being to thick so a little time on the wire wheel it slid in with some grease

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then onto the hubs taking time to remove the excess black coatings from the thread holes tap and die at the ready.

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i did a good job of taking photos and listing everything exactly how it came off and what side it was from so re assemble wasnt to painfull.

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finished off with all pipes sensors cleaned and connected looks quiet good i think.

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I havent tightend everything up as it obviously needs to be sat on the floor and weighted as per the lotus manual .so after the engines been sorted i shall rebuild the rears and get it optilined too .

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  • 2 weeks later...

right little more from me ive had some progress this week

started the day slowly by fitting a new horn its a dual air horn but sounds a little better than the strangled duck that was in there before

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then finished off the day by pulling the engine out so i can replace gaskets turbos seals and pipes .

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not bad going off to owen developments tomorrow to see what i can get as a replacement for my turbos .

also slightly annoyed with lotus i spent the extra money on buying this revival suspension from eibach and bilstien and although i have the fronts now built up and on the car the rear springs are sat in my living room and the rear shocks well according to lotus were suppose to be delivered in june and now not expected till after christmas ???

totally screwed ! made several phone calls the last one i asked for a more accurate delivery time and was told the buyer would call me back after they had spoke to there suppliers .guess what no call back ....so the saga continues maybe ill have some better news next time rather shabby customer service lotus shame on you .

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Right another busy day in the man cave .

as the engine is now out i started the process of splitting the engine and box in order to start checking for wear and tear leaks and problems .

i already new there were two seals gone in the end plate of the gearbox and also the driveshaft oil seals were leaking but further inspection would needed as it was all apart.

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so this is the current state of the box the years of oil leaking and dust sticking to the casing looking rather poor condition .

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inside the bell housing rather dry just in need of a clean.

also the engine side time to remove the clutch and see what condition it was in .

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here are some shot of the clutch being separated in bits .

basket.

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two friction plates

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now the fly wheel

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note the coloured markings caused by heat spots blue and gold i started to experience some judder on take off so had the plate milled at a local firm to get the plate flat again only cost 15 quid and should cure the judder.

right end plate on the gearbox

i had already ordered some parts from sj ready for this job so set about sorting a few leaks.

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when removing the end plate watch out for the ball bearing this will drop out dont lose it .

id suggest removing this alan key bolt and pulling out the spring and ball bearing before removing the end plate

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then with your bag of bits.

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start to dismantle the endplate and lay it all out so not to get confused .

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infortunatly the kit is wrong the outer shaft seals left and right are correct the little metal shaft cup for the fork side is correct but the metal shaft for the spring side isnt right the original part is slightly bigger .

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so after a while of digging and swearing i found a bearing company near me that did a replacement the same size diameter but a little longer by 3mm so more time spent on the cutting wheel slowly getting rid of the extra then sanding to remove all the roughness and finaly adding the tapered edge so is slid in easily.

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new oil seal .

home made tool to pull the colar into its new home.

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once all cleaned re assemble and smile

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after a few phone calls to AP i cleaned all the grime and dirt and re assembled the clutch

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then turned my attention to the back plate.( under the fly wheel )

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fantastic wtf is that .

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after more inspection it turned out to be the corner seal from where the sump meets the rear main plate so off it came .

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alot of carefull cleaning

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and slow flat sanding with a scrapper and a block to remove the old crusty sealant.

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removal of the main oil seal. not leaking but when in rome

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nice new replacement from the same bearing company now improved .

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clean the back casing and refit new seal

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this is the new skimmed fly wheel not all the colour gone and the glaze you can see are the heat marks from use now without the judder .

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bolts locktite in so they dont fly out .

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then replaceing the end plate with the new seals

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you can see from the clean bit what ive been working on .

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time to steam clean the rest of the box ready for drive shaft seals once my fitting tool arrives.

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and then my rod thingy broke time to hunt for new joint ends

thats all for now

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Cracking progress. :thumbsup: . A quick heads up, i believe there is a special tool required to align the rear crank cover / rear main seal. without aligning this properly there is a high chance you will have oil leakage straight away...

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really hmmm well theres no seal for this part just instant gasket and theres two bolts under the lip and the rest around the plate .The only aligning i had to do was make sure the seal didnt catch on the shaft as i slid it over but ill look into this ...

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really hmmm well theres no seal for this part just instant gasket and theres two bolts under the lip and the rest around the plate .The only aligning i had to do was make sure the seal didnt catch on the shaft as i slid it over but ill look into this ...

Ed Winter wrote

Evidently, s special tool is need to ensure that the seal is evenly spread when fitted. If the tool is not used, the technician told me that it is virtually impossible to get a leak-free fit.

Here's the link

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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ok thanks for the info jon ill have a word with a lotus garage

ok time for another update.

started on the inside had a sticking stork so found a billy bargin on ebay and ordered two new ones .

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very anal but the click is so crisp now .

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the last remaining normal bushes on my car time to get rid and replace with the red polys .

so disconected the trailing arm.

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started to undo the nuts and bolts

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laid out the part so it goes abck in the right order .

and also found these hiding up the top

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the most rediculous place to put a flexi line not only that a pain to undo without snapping

drivers side not looking to healthy

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all assembled ready to go back

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new brake line now braided no more fails

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all done

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whilst you have easy access, now might be the time to replace all jubilee clips on coolant pipes etc, whilst the clips are stainless you'll have probably noticed the screws are mild steel, i've recently had a couple break due to corrosion in the stainless under the worm screw. I have now, as of last week replaced all clips throughout the car, not an easy task with everything in situ

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  • Gold FFM

Alex, some notes/questions -as from what I can see in your pictures:

..the hub-assembly on the front was powder coated as an 'all in once' assembly -so the contact area betwen the brake shield & hub and steering arm mounts is still in factory condition from 1997 ?

..same question goes to the nuts & bolts, who do not look re-galvanised (or renewed), and the geo-setup shims

..those are as rusty as prior to the rebuild, wereas the surface where the shims fit in contact with the upper wishbone arms are powdered on those arms -does this intefere with the setting and makes the package bigger ? So was this all aimed to be in this style, or is it just to set-up & test the suspension later on ?

Other thing is, the machine shop that tried to grind up some 1/10 of a millimeter (if it is the right word) of from the the clutch surface -the surface where the clutch cage fits, this was not grinded over with the machine for the same amount -?

If you have trouble with the drive shafts: ..watch out for slightly larger O-rings ( I mean some with an bigger diameter across the O-profile ..as over time the original ones, done with Renault specification, will loose some stiffness in the elastomere compound, therefore the sealing pressure on the mating surface from the driveshaft joint will be less over time. Of corse, it means you have to push the driveshafts in with more force, to allighn for the keyholes on every side -but you will have an leak free time much longer. Same goes if you glue up the whole splines with silicon/sealer -insted of just put an small dop of silicon on the split pin end.

For the crankshaft rear seal:

the thing is that (if you rework/rebuild) the whole engine you have to be focussed on the concetric fit of the rear seal to the crank axis, as well as for an flush fit of the sump -without any big step between engine block and rear cover.

If you now have to reposition the rear-cover alone -measure up the maximum inner diameter of the crankshaft sealing ring with compressed lips (as every ring is slightly wider than the shaft it seals) ..and measure the diameter of the crankshaft end, where the ring fits.

Search for, or fabricate your own plastic tube that just fits between both diameters -with this your sealing ring will be fitted as close to concentric to the crankshaft as possible, and all you have to be focussed on now is only that there is no big gab between rear cover and sump face .. so easy it is :D

*by the way, good work on the gearchange shaft ..some interesting notes about parts problems

.. but what would be interesting is, does the wrong bearing have an own number, or was the whole replacement kit just for the wrong type of UN-1 series box ?

**one more note

..watch out for the pilot-bearing (the small bearing that supports the clutch shaft in the crankshaft end) ..this should spin free, without noise or wobble

Edited by Günter

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Yes thats on today s list steve

Gunter the hubs were powder coated as one unit I only intend to replace bearings and regrease

The shims were not powder coated as this would add thickness and mess up the geometry .

Replacing nuts and bolts for shiney ones is not good stainless bolts look nice but snap under stress so kept the originals

Only the fly wheels contact surface was milled to re flatten the surface .the clutch basket area was not milled as that would change the whole tollerence the release bearing and fork would be working in the wrong location . The bearing has been checked not noisy at all the clutch is fairly new

The rear gearbox seals were not a kit but everyone lists them the same diameter they are not if you re-do as I have done just becarefull to not damage it so you can get a replacement failing that ill get the id from the guy so you can order the right one seperatly

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  • Gold FFM

I know that you have not powdered the shims, as we can see those are as rusty as prior to the rebuild -that's why I ask why for example the wishbones inside (where the shims have contact with the upper wishbone arms) are powdered -as noone can say how precisely it was done, or how much thickness this adds individually, and influences the overall tolereance on the geo-setup.. .

One special thing is also, if you fit the rims on the 'soft plastic' coated hub face, it will need to re-thighten the rims soon ..as this powder coat tends to run away under contact pressure/forces.

*************

None said that you have to change the nuts & bolts for stainless ones -it is just the question why you have not used the same time and effort that was used there for powder coating all other stuff to also clean up all shims, nuts, bolts and make them free from any rust (aka 'regalvanise' the OEM ones with new zinc/plating or whatever ).. .

Maybe you see it slightly wrong, but as the manual notes -if someone does change the level of the clutch surface the cage-mounting face should be reshaped for the same amount -as for the need to have the package compressed to OEM specification (aka 'diaphragm spring set up with the right tension') as this does have the priority regarding Lto otus

..that's just what I have noticed within your interesting pictures first and woundered -no offence meant men

:welcome:

Edited by Günter

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Thanks for your concern the hub faces will be removed of coating before the wheels get put back on the fly wheel was only milled by 2000 th of an inch the clutch plate will see movement of 9mm in its life I think itll be fine as for the bolts I may change them but only if I find ones toughend for the right use .

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  • Gold FFM

there is now need to change all the bolts & nuts, that was not was I meant

..think you will find on your car enough other brakets an mounts who could do with a replating/galvanising work. So it would be cost effective to putt all this stuff in one lot and ask for pricing in a suitable shop (as it turns out to be an more 'time consuming project' anyway..)

-you have done so much on the rest of the suspension, that's why I guess on the long term you will like to do all the other points too (mention for example the odd mild-steel and nearly unplated brakets/mountings for the wheelarch extension who rust on nearly all cars ..or the metal pieces inside of the roof extension on top of the tailgate.. or various brakets for the bumpers

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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  • 3 weeks later...

so after a few conversations lotus are sorting my suspension very pleased with the out come .

had a little time to address the smaller issues .

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removed the alternator to find out why the pole was turning .seems the thread wasnt tight and the bearing is noisy as hell time to get another , anyone used the guys off of ebay 150 amp alternator they clame race but i doubt that .

next removed the water coolant neck after some time on the wheel got rid of all the old dry crusted coolant marks and re seal.

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now the final thing for now and the most time consuming . the little brackets that hold on the rear grp skirt between the two tail pipes mine came off but in doing so the bolts snapped and couldnt be removed with oil or stud tools so had to dig deaper .

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finally dug these out of the rear bumper .

rusty weak and the threads all seized . so began my own fab .

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changed the location of the rear fixing from a bolt that will rust to a nut that's hidden also beefed up the joint from 10mm to 13mm for strength.

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  • Gold FFM

as I said Alex, don't stop ! ..you will find lots more of this stuff all around (and in) the car

:D

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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  • Gold FFM

keep in mind:

  • the brackets/mounts for the whelarch extensions (if rusted those come of from the glue inside)
  • the brackets/mounts laminated into the rear roof section on top of the tailgate (there it starts with bubbles in the resin-fibre outside ..just in the shape of the inserts)
  • the brackets/plates for the bumpers & front valence (the originals are weak and tend to bend if you do them thighter ..and you can actually modify the mounting sheme with additional brackets, to make it an nice evenly gap on the bumper/valence contacts)
  • the brackets/metal stripes inside of the door (where the water seperator is attached onto the outer door skin)

all those points are something to look after, especially if you work there on other projects and the car is in parts for the winter anyway.

You mean the small metal stripes -with this small angled edge ?

I have seen them in here, in the forum as stainless 'DIY replacement' by an other owner.

If you allready plan to replace the factory ones it also helps (as noted above) if you copy the principles of those and add more, for example on the level of the front indicators (there is space for two of them each side) ..and at least one more on every corner of the front bumper, and also one in the centre level of each lamp pod. That's what I have done as I worked there for the Nürburgring-crash repair project. It helped this summer, as you may have noticed the original bumper/valence is from soft fibre and tends to deform under the heat of the sun ..

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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